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The Art of War

Written by: Sun Tzu
Narrated by: Aidan Gillen
Length: 1 hr and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (500 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The 13 chapters of The Art of War, each devoted to one aspect of warfare, were compiled by the high-ranking Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher Sun-Tzu. In spite of its battlefield specificity, The Art of War has found new life in the modern age, with leaders in fields as wide and far-reaching as world politics, human psychology, and corporate strategy finding valuable insight in its timeworn words.

Aidan Gillen - who has learned a thing or two about strategy through his roles as skilled manipulator Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Game of Thrones) and ambitious politician Tommy Carcetti (The Wire) - brilliantly performs this ancient classic. His experience in portraying insightful and, at times, cunning characters makes him a natural fit for this ancient collection of battlefield epigrams whose influence has grown tremendously in the modern world.

Public Domain (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about The Art of War

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interesting

I really liked this book, my first audiobook, wasn't too long and it was easy to listen to! one of my favourite quotes was "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." #Audible1

4 people found this helpful

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little finger

couldn't have chosen a better person to read this. I've been playing it on loop all morning and plan to keep doing so

3 people found this helpful

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Really good

This was a very good recording. I really enjoyed it. I will be listening to it again

2 people found this helpful

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  • E
  • 2019-11-01

easy and captivating

the narrator was convincing and captivating. the tempo is easy to follow. I finished the book and listened to it again immediately..

1 person found this helpful

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Epic!!!

I am now ready for battle... This book was insightful and perfect for the everyday CEO.

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The art of war

very entertaining and rich in knowledge. And as always a great performance from aidan gillen

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Classic reading

Love the choice of narrator! This is a must read book for all people; it’s context applies in so many ways of life!

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The Art of War

what a great analogy of strategy of war something that can be used in a working environment. incredible

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A Classic

A classic! Short as the book may be, it's so rich in informational content. A difficult book to convey, Aiden does a superb job in keeping the listener entranced in the subject matter. A book that'll certainly be repeated over and over, passed from generation to generation.

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Classic with an enhanced Narrator

Art of War is always a fine read but now with Little Finger narrating its that much better!

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  • Fred271
  • 2019-12-31

The actual book The Art of War, not a commentary

Excellent reading by Aidan Quinn, and a nice translation by an uncredited translator.

People sometimes assume that because The Art of War is short, and it mentions Sun Tzu in the text, a given edition is an abridgment or a summary. No, The Art of War is just pithy, and was never intended to be a book. It was written down on scrolls around 500 BC. A translation of the text itself will be no more than 80 pages, often in the form of verse or bullet points, though a given edition might be longer because it contains additional material, such as an introduction and some of the classical commentary. For example, Lionel Giles' translation is 25 pages long and just under 11,000 words.

As for the text speaking of Master Sun saying various things, that's not an uncommon device. The Book of Ecclesiastes does it, too, for example, and so does the Chuang Tzu. "Sun Tzu" appears to be an imaginary authority, inspired by a military expert named Sun Bin, rather than the actual author, so it's pretty logical.

I mention this because at least a couple of the commenters here have come to the wrong conclusions about what this audio book is, and a lot of people have taken their word for it, judging by the approval ratings. This is a very good recording, and it would be a shame to overlook it because of a misunderstanding.

95 people found this helpful

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  • David S. Mathew
  • 2018-04-14

Game of War

The Art of War is a time tested classic of strategy and martial wisdom. The reputation of this book is extremely well known, so I won’t bother reviewing Sun Tzu. If you’ve ever been interested in this text, go for it.

If you’re reading this review, my guess is that you’re wondering about the performance. In short, Aidan Gillen knocks it out of the park. If you’re a fan of Aidan Gillen (or Game of Thrones in general) what could be cooler than being schooled in the art of war by Lord Petyr Baelish himself? You owe it to yourself to give this a listen. Highly recommended!

16 people found this helpful

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  • coppertin
  • 2015-04-24

Great performance

This ancient text may apply to many people's work. Anyone who works in a competitive environment can benefit from it, even if only a little. Even if you can't benefit from it, this work might help the listener to understand historical works dealing with wars better.

The reading is excellent. Aidan Gillen does a great job reading the text. I don't know if it's because I've been watching Game of Thrones for four seasons, but it sounds like he's using a kind of Littlefinger voice here, which adds to the effect. I'd recommend this audiobook to pretty much anyone, even if they don't have an army.

63 people found this helpful

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  • David Silva
  • 2020-01-13

NOT THE ACTUAL BOOK!

This is not the actual book, misleading information. Very disappointing, I don't think i even want to look at the actual book anymore.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mathias
  • 2015-05-27

Littlefinger brings it home

Aidan Gillen delivers a great performance and keeps the listener interested and engaged through out the entire book!

13 people found this helpful

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  • Molly Mcdermott
  • 2015-05-27

Clever and extremely enjoyable

Stroke of genius having Aidan Gillen read Art of War. His gentle Irish brogue is tough yet alluring. And as a fan of GoT, I can see Littlefinger conspiring over this document and making these words his own. Well done!

22 people found this helpful

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  • G. Parish
  • 2016-05-31

A classic text, read well

This is a classic text and the narrator fit it well. If you are interested in strategy this is a required text.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Right wing troll
  • 2020-04-21

Thought I was getting the full book

Great choice of narrator, but this is a synopsis of the book, not the book itself.

2 people found this helpful

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  • William E.
  • 2019-12-30

A classic, but this is not the whole text...

Art of War by sun Tzu is a classic, but this is not the whole text. Regardless, it provides the essence, and probably all I really wanted + Gillen's narration was great. Glad I listened, and if you are in to STRATEGY, this should be on your MUST READ list.

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  • David W
  • 2019-11-25

an hour long!?!?

what is this. the cliff notes to an actual book??? disappointing as I thought I bought a book. not a news clipping....

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-01-12

Awesome the tittle describes it vvery well

Description of strategies and tactics you need in warfare
Great book, I don't know how relevant it is in today's World though but still it's short and there are still at least some valid points but i am not an expert on this subject so read and judge by yourself